S’Court Rules On Ekiti Guber Poll, Zamfara APC Dispute, May 24 …Ekiti APC, PDP’s Rift Deepens
The Supreme Court yesterday heard and fixed May 24 for judgement on the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Kolapo Olusola-Eleka challenging the election of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
A five-man panel of the apex court which heard the appeal was led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The appeal sought to overturn the concurrent judgments of the Ekiti State Election Petition Tribunal and the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which had both upheld Fayemi’s election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Fayemi and APC polled a total of 197,459 votes to defeated Olusola-Eleka and the PDP who placed second with 178,121 votes in the July 14, 2018 election.
Also, the Supreme Court yesterday fixed May 24 for judgment in the appeals relating to the dispute over the validity of the All Progressives Congress’ primary elections which produced the candidates fielded by the party in the last general elections.
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad led the five-man panel which heard the appeal yesterday.
There had been two conflicting judgments of the Federal High Court in Abuja and the High Court of Zamfara State on whether or not the party conducted valid primaries in the state.
The Abuja and Sokoto divisions of the Court of Appeal had also delivered conflicting judgments on the matter.
While the Governor Abdulaziz Yari faction which, with the backing of the national leadership of the party, produced the candidates fielded for the elections in the state, had maintained that the party conducted valid primaries in the state, the Senator Kabir Marafa faction claimed otherwise.
Meanwhile,the bourgeoning rift between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) took a worsening dimension, yesterday, as the Ekiti State Government has reverted appointments of over 2,000 workers by immediate governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose after the July, 2018, gubernatorial election.
The decision followed deliberations by the State Executive Council (SEC) on the report of the committee headed by the deputy governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, that reviewed irregular appointments made between 2014 and 2018.
The government said the recruitment exercise violated due process.
It was gathered that the affected 2, 000 workers comprises 600 teachers recruited into the Teaching Service Commission, 400 personnel employed into the State Universal Basic Education Board and 1,000 injected into the system through the Office of Establishment and Training, among others.
Briefing the journalists on the development in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, yesterday, the Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Values Orientation, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua declared that the appointments were null and void because they were done hurriedly with ulterior motives and in bad faith.
The commissioner disclosed that the governor had directed the Head of Service, Mr Ayodeji Ajayi, to collate all available vacancies in the civil service, with a view to recruiting suitable and qualified Ekiti citizens into the public service, irrespective of religious and political affinities.
Olumilua, however, urged the affected workers to participate in the next recruitment exercise to be announced in due course.
“All appointments made after the Gubernatorial Election of July, 2018, violated due process, are hereby cancelled and declared null and void.
“And all affected workers are advised to participate in the next recruitment exercise to be announced in due course”, Olumilua said.
He added: “The officers reinstated into the Local Government Service Commission between October 16, 2014 and October 15, 2018 are to be reabsorbed by the relevant Personnel Board, and migrated to biometric payroll.
“All 272 officers employed by the Governor Fayose Administration, who are still on manual payroll, shall be considered for absorption into the civil service but on case-by-case basis. Absorption will be conditional on availability of vacancies.
“The 169 officers recruited in 2014 but had their appointments terminated by the Governor Fayose Administration, shall be considered for re-absorption by the Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission, But on a case-by-case basis. Re-absorption will be conditional on availability of vacancies in their previous offices of appointment.
“Officers dismissed between October 16, 2014 and October 15, 2018 in the Ministries of Justice, Works and Transport, Environment, SUBEB, Teaching Service Commission, Hospital Management Board should go to the Office of Establishment to ascertain their current status”, he said.
But in a swift reaction, Fayose’s Media Aide, Lere Olayinka described the development as “act of wickedness and extreme degree of political vendetta”.
Olayinka, in a statement, last Wednesday, explained: “Fayemi has only succeeded in writing his name in the history books of Ekiti as one who inflict pains and sorrow on the people.”
He added that; “Fayemi has only demonstrated the wickedness in his heart by sacking Ekiti sons and daughters who were duly employed by the state government.
“It will be on record that the PDP government of Ayodele Fayose gave jobs to over 2,000 unemployed youths in Ekiti while the APC government of Dr Kayode Fayemi sacked them.
“Also, whoever that applauds this show of wickedness will be reminded in future when actions of Fayemi will also be reviewed.
“As for those sons and daughters of Ekiti who have now become victims of Fayemi’s wickedness and political vendetta, they should place their hope in God and enforce their rights to seek redress in the court of law”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Sola Adigun, appealed to government not to use the error and mistake of the past government to mete out punishment on innocent workers.
“This is not a fight, but a plea to the government to allow them to remain in the system. We are going to see Governor Fayemi and Head of Service Ayodeji Ajayi to please stop this recurrent issue of government sacking those employed by their predecessors,” he said.
But in a swift reaction, the Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party National New Media Group (PDP-NNMG) has condemned in strong terms, the retrenchment of about 2,000 workers employed into teaching and civil services of the state during the immediate past Peter Ayodele Fayose’s administration.
The group described Governor John Kayode Fayemi’s action as one filled with vile, hate, wickedness and vendetta, adding that the governor must be reminded about the ephemeral nature of power and authority.
It said that it was only a matter of time before the governor’s alleged heinous actions are brought under review since nothing lasts forever.
The group said Ekiti State has never been so divided since its creation, stressing that the seed of discord being allegedly sowed among indigenes of the singular most homogeneous state in Nigeria by the governor be stopped forthwith.
It would be recalled that the Ayo Fayose administration recruited about 2,000 junior and senior workers to fill vacancies in the state government workforce in an exercise advertised long before the July 21 governorship election.
Fayemi, however, in a statement signed, yesterday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Laolu Oyebode, declared the exercise null and void, claiming that the recruitment was done to throw his government off balance.
In a statement released and made available to newsmen, yesterday, Ekiti State Coordinator of the PDP-NNMG, Bola Agboola said the retrenchment was one devilish act too many.
He said, “Governor Fayemi has for the umpteenth time proved his viciousness by pronouncing 2,000 breadwinners hapless and helpless!
“Fayemi is known for attempting to undermine and dwarf his predecessors’ achievements, you would recall this was the same way he scrapped University of Science and Technology, Ifaki which was the hallmark of Engr. Segun Oni’s administration.
“Fayemi would have demolished Fayose’s 1.3km flyover if he had had his way. Today, the Oja Oba that was about 95% completed before Fayose left office in 2018 has been abandoned. In 2010, Fayemi sent packing duly elected local government executive members and counsellors across the 16 LGA of the state, he repeated same in 2018 after rigging his way to the government house a second time.
“It is a known fact that Fayemi was behind the case instituted against Ekiti State Government under former governor Ayo Fayose by landowners in communities where an airport would have been constructed for the state, Fayemi through his aides castigated the construction of the proposed airport but today he’s setting machinery in motion to build one, that’s Fayemi’s kind of person.
“One would have thought that an electoral robber who does not enjoy the support of majority of the citizenry would thread softly with caution, same is not the case for our kinsman whose innate tendency for crass ungodliness, profanity and profligacy will not allow to lead a chorus where he is not wanted”.
Agboola further stated that “there is no gainsaying Dr. Kayode Fayemi represents the very worst of Ekiti people. He is full of hatred for the Ekiti people, very vindictive, callous and deadly. Or what offence did those 2,000 workers he sacked yesterday commit? Must he wait till they have spent 8 months wasting their money and precious time working without salary for the government before telling them to stop?
“Why didn’t he sack them before the presidential and National Assembly elections? Why didn’t he sack them before the state assembly election? Because he knew the hue and cry won’t allow his rigging the elections sail through without challenge? Fayemi is heartless!”
“Ekiti State chapter of the PDP-NNMG hereby call on the 2,000 workers not to despair but to be strong and of good courage as the Pharaoh they see today, they will see no more. We urge you to charge this rogue government of the day to court; the lawyers know what to do.
“Your sack is temporary, keep your letters of appointment in a very safe place, a responsible government is coming and your case shall be revisited, I assure you your employment will be revalidated as this is never the end of your world”, Agboola affirmed.
Also, the Supreme Court, yesterday, fixed May 24 to deliver judgment in two election appeals seeking to ascertain authentic candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Zamfara in the last general elections. Court Oyetola’s victory:
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, led other justices to fix the date after counsel to parties adopted their written addresses. Mahammad held that the short date became imperative as it was mandatory to resolve the issues before May 29 in order not to create constitutional crisis in the state.
The APC and Malam Sanusi Dan-Alhaji had instituted the case on the primary election conducted by the party for the nomination of candidates to participate in the last general election. Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Counsel to Dan-Alhaji, while adopting his address, prayed the apex court to restore the February13 judgment of the Zamfara High Court which allowed APC to field candidates in the general election.
Fagbemi submitted that the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, which disqualified APC from nominating candidate for the election on the grounds that the party did not conduct lawful primary should be set aside.
He further argued that the lower court erred in law, adding that the decision was a miscarriage of justice.
Fagbemi said the APC had shown proof that the party conducted a free and fair primary to elect the candidates that contested the governorship election, the National Assembly and the House of Assembly elections respectively.
However, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Counsel to Sen. Kabiru Marafa and 142 others, urged the appellate court to dismiss the appeal and affirm the judgment of the Appeal Court. Ozekhome submitted that the judgment was a copious description of how the APC in Zamfara failed to conduct primary election in accordance with the Electoral Act, party guideline and the 1999 Constitution.
He said the process failed both legal and integrity tests, adding that the exercise was not conducted to produce candidates for the last general election as his clients were fenced out. Mr. Tanimu Inuwa, SAN, Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) aligned himself with the argument canvassed by Ozekhome.
He further explained that the electoral body did not supervised any primary conducted by the party as mandated by law. Inuwa argued that the Court of Appeal in Sokoto was right to have stopped the APC from fielding candidates in the 2019 general election in Zamfara. Inuwa therefore, urged the appellate court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
Fubara Dedicates Victory To Rivers Unity …As INEC Declares Guber Election Results …PDP Wins 31 State Assembly Seats
Rivers State governor-elect, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, has dedicated his victory at the March 18 governorship polls to the unity of Rivers people.
Fubara noted that the determination of the people to sustain development gave him the victory as he described the giant strides of Governor Nyesom Wike as a big shoe that he would learn to wear.
The governor-elect who reacted to his declaration as the winner of the governorship election in the state on Monday, assured Rivers people of sustaining the tempo for the betterment of the state, adding that he is prepared to work with Rivers people who believe in the new Rivers vision and with innovative ideas.
He thanked Wike for his encouragement and for finding him worthy to carry on from where he will stop, describing it as a great privilege.
He glorified God as the foundation of his accomplishments in life and further assured the party leaders and Rivers people that he would not let them down but work in same spirit that has been passed on to him by Wike.
Fubara had scored 302,614 votes to beat his closet rival, Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Magnus Abe of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who trailed behind with 95,274 and 46,981, respectively.
In same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party swept all the State House of Assembly seats except for Ahoada West that is pending a rerun in some wards.
The State Returning Officer, Prof Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, who announced the result late Monday night at the end of the two-day collation at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Head Office in Port Harcourt, had declared Fubara as the winner of the governorship election.
The PDP candidate polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closet rival Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 95,274 votes while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, and Labour Party (LP), Beatrice Itubo came a distant third and fourth with 46,981 and 22,224 votes, respectively.
Rim-Rukeh, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta State, said a total of 496,852 were accredited for the March 18 governorship election out of the 3,537,190 registered voters in the state.
He explained that of the 494,604 total votes cast, 483,934 were valid while 10, 670 were rejected votes.
Fubara was anointed by the incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike who is in the last weeks of his two-term of eight years.
Fubara’s Victory Reaffirms Rivers As PDP’s Stronghold -Wike …We’ll Sustain NEW Rivers Vision -Fubara
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the State has once again reasserted itself as one of the premier strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the country following the victory of Sir Siminialayi Fubara as the governor-elect.
The governor noted that despite evil machination of the opposition, the PDP has consistently won all the governorship elections in the State since 2015.
Governor Wike stated these shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Fubara as the winner of the 2023 governorship election on Monday night.
Fubara, who was the PDP candidate polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who had 95,274 votes and the Social Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Magnus Abe who came a distant third with 46,981.
Wike, who was visibly excited by Fubara’s resounding victory, told PDP leaders at the Government House, Port Harcourt that the State would continue to remain pivotal to the successes of the PDP.
“Whom God has blessed, no one can curse. There is nothing anyone can do about it. God at this time has said Siminalayi Fubara will be the next governor, and we give God the glory today that, that has happened.
“We won 23 local governments, 23 over 23. It has never happened. Out of the 32 State constituencies, we have won 31, it is remaining one that they said we will go for bye-election. We are ready and we will take that one.
“So, we have said to anybody who cares, Rivers State is PDP. When you annoy us, we do another thing. When we wanted to vote for the unity of the country, we showed it. We didn’t do anti-party, but we voted for unity of the country and that is what we did for one Nigeria.”
Governor Wike, who dedicated the electoral victories of the PDP in the just concluded general elections to God and the people of Rivers State, commended party stalwarts for remaining steadfast in defence of the State since he assumed office in 2015.
“Let me thank all of you for the support you have given us, how you stood firm to make sure that we defend what is Rivers State. In 2015, we did it, in 2019, we did it and in 2023, we have done it again. So, it is not surprising, God has always been with us.”
Governor Wike said he would remain eternally grateful to God because when he first contested for the office of the governor in 2015, his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, was the incumbent, and was antagonistic to his political aspiration.
The governor while mocking his predecessor for restoring to divisive and disgusting politicking during the electioneering period, said the resounding victory of the PDP has further diminished his political relevance in Rivers State.
“When we came out in 2015, we were not in government. There was a governor (Amaechi) then in 2015. He was the Director General (DG) of (Muhammadu) Buhari campaign. In 2019, he was a super Minister and was also DG of Buhari campaign. He never gave him (Buhari) 25 percent. 2015, he never gave him 25 percent.”
“This is 2023, and they cannot get 25 percent vote in the State, we have also defeated him. You were a super governor, we defeated you. You were a super minister, we defeated you, now, you are a super nobody, we defeated you.”
Governor Wike, has however, cautioned PDP members not to be complacent because the opposition which he likened to “enemies” are still prowling around.
In his acceptance speech, the governor-elect, Fubara, who was accompanied by his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu, thanked God for his electoral victory and assured that his administration would consolidate on Wike’s New Rivers Vision.
“We are going to work with everybody who believes in the New Rivers Vision to continue to build better lives, good services, protection of the dignity of every Rivers man and woman, protection of the integrity of this state in all phases and to make sure that we continue to defend our party in this state.
“Our vision is simple, it is anchored on the New Rivers Vision. We are to continue, to improve and to develop more on it. I want to thank the leadership of the party and the good people of Rivers State who believed in the New Rivers vision and ensured that the vision is the right vision. On the 18th of March, 2023, they supported us, they came out in their large numbers and voted for the unity and progress of this State”.
The governor-elect assured the people of Rivers State and the leadership of the PDP that his administration would not disappoint them.
“We give God all the glory and our foundation has always been God, and we believe He is going to give us the wisdom to carry this crown, its a big one. My principal will be leaving a very big shoe, I will need a lot of stockings so my leg can fit in properly.
“So, I need to start working on it. I need all of you to continue to support us, for us to achieve and maintain the standard that the governor has already laid and established for us”, he said.
Wike Congratulates Makinde, Mohammed, Sanwo-Olu
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has congratulated Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Senator Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) on their re-election.
Wike said the re-election of Makinde, Mohammed and Sanwo-Olu through free, fair and credible elections in their respective States, is indeed a triumph for Nigeria’s democracy.
“I am excited by the cheering news of the resounding re-election of governors Makinde, Mohammed and Sanwo-Olu. I am pleased to express to Your Excellencies the most sincere fraternal congratulations.
“I look forward to us consolidating the bonds of brotherhood and friendship between our States and peoples”, he said.
Wike urged the governors to use the election for their second tenure in office to continue to create a better life, and prosperity for all their peoples.
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